Allegations have emerged that The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. and other subsidiaries of health care giant Kaiser Permanente are denying Telephone Service Representatives (TSRs) proper compensation in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and California labor laws.
The Permanente Medical Group employs TSRs at brick-and-mortar call centers as well as in home-based positions to respond to patient phone calls. According to reports, regardless of the TSRs work locations, the company requires them to use multiple computer and software applications to perform their responsibilities, but engages in illegal pay practices by forcing TSRs to:
- Start up and log into applications before each shift and prior to clocking into Permanente’s timekeeping system;
- Shut down and log back into applications shutdown and log-in tasks off-the-clock during uncompensated meal periods; and
- Shut down and log out of applications subsequent to each shift and after clocking out of Defendant’s timekeeping system.
The TSRs claim that The Permanente Medical Group fails to pay them for time spent locating equipment prior to each shift and shredding and disposing of patient notes after each shift, and requires TSRs to work through statutorily-mandated meal periods without compensation. Additionally, remote TSRs say they are not compensated for time spent driving to and from brick-and-mortar call center locations on days when they experience technical issues with Permanente’s computers and applications and cannot work at home.
In total, the time for which a TSR is not compensated can exceed 20 minutes per day, and in many instances, that unpaid time can exceed 40 hours per week – payable at 150% of the TSR’s normal rate.
Failing to pay call centers employees for “off the clock” work is against the law, and any employer that engages in such unlawful pay practices must be held accountable. The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are currently interviewing current and former Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente Telephone Service Representatives about their wage abuse claims. If you have information to share, please contact us today!